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  1. 1. The Completion of a Sound Change in California English<br />Lauren Hall-Lew<br />University of Edinburgh<br /><br />*Travel support provided by:<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />Analysis of the fronting of /u/<br />a.k.a.goose,boot, /u:/, or (uw)<br />Analysis with respect to speaker age, gender, & ethnicity:<br />Asian American vs. European American<br />
  3. 3. /u/-fronting in English<br />A widely documented sound change:<br />United Kingdom(Cruttenden 2001; Gimson 1962; Harrington, Kleber & Reubold 2008; Hawkins & Midgley 2005; Schneider 2004)<br />Southern Hemisphere(Lanham 1978; Lass 1995; Mesthrie 2010; Schneider 2004)<br />North America(Fridland & Bartlett 2006; Hall-Lew 2005; Ohala 1981; Labov, Ash & Boberg 2006; Labov, Yaeger & Steiner 1972; Thomas 2001)<br />& specifically, in California(Fought 1999; Godinez & Maddieson 1985; Hagiwara 1997; Hinton et al. 1987)<br />
  4. 4. /u/-fronting in California English<br />No documentation (in urban environments) prior to 1987(no mention of it inDeCamp1953)<br />As in most varieties, /u/-fronting first appeared in the environment following anterior coronals (see Flemming 2003).<br />In earlier studies, /u/-fronting among older Californians only occurred after coronals.<br />
  5. 5. Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006)<br />The Atlas of North American English<br />Post-coronal /u/, <br /> or too, is fronted across most of the United States.<br />Non-post-coronal /u/, or koo, is mainly fronted across the Southern U.S., but is also found in the Midwest & West.<br />
  6. 6. /u/-fronting in California English<br />/u/-fronting generally occurs within the vowel nucleus, not the vowel off-glide.<br />Off-glides remain backed, resulting in increased diphthongization.<br />Fronting is inhibited by a following /l/<br /> (The single lexical exception, cool, appears limited to the informal, non-temperature evaluative adjective & social uses, such as taking particular stances. More on this later…)<br />
  7. 7. post-coronal /u/<br />San Francisco,<br />Irish American,<br />Female, 65yrs<br />
  8. 8. elsewhere /u/<br />San Francisco,<br />Irish American,<br />Female, 65yrs<br />
  9. 9. pre-liquid /u/<br />San Francisco,<br />Irish American,<br />Female, 65yrs<br />
  10. 10. /u/-fronting & Ethnicity in California<br />Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, CA produce /u/ further back than European Americans (Godinez & Maddieson 1985).<br />Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, CA produce a wide range of /u/ realizations, with frontedness varying more with network, gender, and social class (Fought 1999).<br />
  11. 11. /u/-fronting & Gender in California<br />Hinton et al. (1987) found that /u/-fronting was a feature of a gendered ‘mock California’ persona, e.g. ‘Valley Girl’.<br />Today’s analysis:<br />this indexical association is weakening<br />the correlation with gender is also weakening<br />the change is nearing completion<br />
  12. 12. Fieldwork<br />Spring & Summer 2008<br />Guided spontaneous speech from sociolinguistic & ethnographic interviews<br />San Francisco’s largest residential neighborhood, the Sunset District:<br />roughly all ‘middle class’<br />approximately 50% Asian American, <br /> 45% Euro American, 5% Other<br />
  13. 13. Speakers Analyzed<br />16 Asian Americans & 14 European Americans<br />17 females, 13 males<br />Ages 16–76<br />The Asian Americans:<br />(12) Chinese<br />(1) Filipino<br />(1) Japanese<br />(2) ‘Mixed’<br />
  14. 14. Speakers Analyzed<br />All dominant English speakers since at least age 5.<br />Asian Americans’ heritage language self-reports:<br />(11) Cantonese<br />(1) Shanghainese<br />(1) Northern Mandarin<br />(1) Taiwanese Mandarin<br />Asian Americans’ bilingualism self-reports:<br />(3) active, (3) intermediate, (3) passive<br />(7) monolingual English<br /><ul><li> (1) Japanese
  15. 15. (1) Tagalog
  16. 16. (1) Ilokano</li></li></ul><li>Data Collection<br />Including tokens<br />All instances of /u/ that occurred 15 minutes into the interview, onwards, were collected.<br />Tokens were classified as too or koo.<br />Tokens preceding /l/ (cool) were classified separately.<br />Excluding tokens<br />Any vowel following a /j/ glide historically or in other dialects (dew, cute) was excluded. <br />Any vowel preceding a rhotic was excluded.<br />
  17. 17. Measuring Fronting<br />F1 & F2 values obtained automatically by a script written for the AkustykPraat add-on (Plichta 2006).<br />18% of the data checked by hand.<br />Measurements were taken at:<br />the temporal midpoint<br />the off-glide (near a boundary placed two glottal pulses from the end of regular voicing)<br />
  18. 18. Measuring Fronting<br />Fronting, for each speaker, was calculated as the average distance in F2 between /u/ and /i/.<br />NB: Since the onset is most influenced by the place of the preceding consonant, the midpoint data underestimate the full extent of fronting.<br />
  19. 19. Normalization & Statistics<br />Conversion & Normalization<br />All data was Bark-converted (Syrdal & Gopal 1986) and Lobanov normalized, using NORM(Lobanov 1971; Thomas & Kendall 2007).<br />Mixed-effect Model (word & speaker as random)<br />independent social factors:<br />speaker age (continuous)<br />speaker ethnicity (binary: Asian / European)<br />speaker gender (binary: M / F)<br />
  20. 20. Results<br />Nothing new here:<br />The midpoint of post-coronal /u/ (too) is significantly further front than /u/ in other environments (koo).<br />The midpoint of both too & koo are significantly further front than /u/ before /l/ (cool).<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Results<br />*Some New Stuff:<br />Differences between three phonological contrasts also obtain for off-glides.<br />Impressionistic percept of off-glide ‘backness’ may be due to rounding (to be tested in future work).<br />too & koo are not significantly different with respect to F1, but both are significantly higher than cool.<br />Not due to raising, but rather mergers-in-progress among pre-/l/ back vowels.<br />* = not in the ICPhS Proceedings Paper<br />
  23. 23. San Francisco,<br />Chinese American,<br />Female, 16yrs<br />22<br />
  24. 24. Results: Social factors<br />Midpoint data, for all /u/ combined:<br />Significant correlation between fronting and speaker age (F[1,29]=6.9, p<0.05)<br />Slight trend effect of gender (F[1,9]=3.3, p=0.081); females > males<br />No effect of ethnicity<br />No interaction effects<br />No qualitative patterning with heritage language and/or level of bilingualism<br />
  25. 25. Results: Social factors<br />For just too:<br />No correlation of speaker age.<br />For just koo:<br />Main effect of speaker age (F[1,29]=8.7, p<0.01)<br />
  26. 26. age: p < 0.01<br />age: n.s.<br />
  27. 27. Results: Social factors<br />For just too:<br />Actually, no correlations for any social factor.<br />For just koo:<br />Trend effect of gender (F[1,29]=3.2, p=0.089)<br />females > males<br />Trend effect of ethnicity (F[1,29]=3.3, p=0.085)<br />Asian Americans > European Americans<br />
  28. 28. Gender & fronting of koo<br />
  29. 29. Ethnicity & fronting of koo<br />
  30. 30. Ethnicity & fronting of koo<br />NB: The finding that a non-European ethnic group is not lagging with respect to a sound change in progress is unusual in U.S. English (cf. Labov 2001:506).<br />Here, not only are Asian Americans not lagging, but the speakers with the highestkoo-midpoint F2 values are all Asian American (specifically, Cantonese American).<br />
  31. 31. Discussion<br />Age is still a significant correlate of /u/-fronting in California English.<br />There is still a change in progress.<br />However, the change is nearing completion.<br />Age is no longer significant for /u/-fronting in post-coronal environments – the environment where the sound change initially began.<br />All speakers of all ages front /u/ after coronals.<br />The sound change is limited to elsewhere contexts.<br />
  32. 32. Discussion<br />Even in non-coronal contexts, /u/-fronting no longer significantly correlates with gender.<br />Full participation by Asian Americans also suggests community-wide entrenchment (cf. Fought 1999 for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles).<br />
  33. 33. Discussion<br />Indexical associations between /u/-fronting and ‘Valley Girl’ personae also appear (impressionistically) to be fading.<br />*Interestingly, apparent exceptions seem to be:<br />occurrences in particularly rare phonological environments, like cool.<br />occurrences in potentially newer aspects of the change, such as off-glide fronting (shoes as /ʃɪz/, cf.<br />
  34. 34. Implications<br />*As a sound change proceeds:<br />the socio-indexical meanings that were attached to earlier phonological environments fade,<br />and similar or related socio-indexical meanings become (re)assigned to the newer phonological environments where the sound change is still progressing. <br />
  35. 35. Selected References<br />Flemming, E. 2003. The relationship between coronal place and vowel backness. Phonology, 335–373.<br />Fought, C. 1999. A majority sound change in a minority community: /u/-fronting in Chicano English. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3: 5–23.<br />Fridland, V. & K. Bartlett. 2006. The social and linguistic conditioning of back vowel fronting across ethnic groups in Memphis, Tennessee. English Lng. & Ling., 10: 1–22.<br />GodinezM,Jr, & M Maddieson. 1985. Vowel differences between Chicano and General Californian English. Int’l Jrnl of Soc. & Lang. 43–58.<br />Hagiwara, R. 1997. Dialect Variation and formant frequency: The American English vowels revisited. JASA, 102: 655–658.<br />Hall-Lew, L. 2005. One shift, two groups: When fronting alone is not enough. PWPL, 10.2: 105–116.<br />Hall-Lew, L. 2010. Ethnicity and Sociolinguistic Variation in San Francisco. Lng. & Ling. Compass. 4(7): 458-472.<br />Hall-Lew, L & R. L. Starr. 2010. Beyond the 2nd Generation: English use among Chinese Americans in the SF Bay Area. Eng. Today, 26(3):12-19<br />Harrington, J., F. Kleber, & U. Reubold. 2008. Compensation for coarticulation, /u/-fronting, and sound change in standard southern British: An acoustic and perceptual study. JASA, 123(5): 2825–2835.<br />Hawkins, S. & J. Midgley. 2005. Formant frequencies of RP monophthongs in four age groups of speakers. Jrnl of the IPA, 35: 183-199<br />Hinton, L., S. Bremner, H. Corcoran, J. Learner, H. Luthin, B. Moonwomon, & M. Van Clay. 1987. It’s not just Valley Girls: A study of California English. BLS Proceedings. 13.117–127.<br />Labov, W. 2001. Principles of Linguistic Change: Social Factors (Vol 2). Malden, MA: Blackwell. (p506)<br />Labov, W., S. Ash & C. Boberg. 2006. Atlas of North American English: Phonetics, phonology, & sound change. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.<br />Lobanov, B. M. 1971. Classification of Russian vowels spoken by different speakers. JASA, 49: 606–608.<br />Mesthrie, R. 2010. Socio-phonetics and social change: Deracialisation of the GOOSE vowel in South African English. J. of Socioling., 14(1): 3-33.<br />Ohala, J. 1981. The listener as a source of sound change. In C.S. Masek, R.A. Hendrick, & M.F. Miller (eds.), Papers from the parasession on language and behavior. Chicago: Chicago Linguistics Society. 178–203.<br />Reed, D., & A. A. Metcalf. 1979 [1952-1959]. Linguistic Atlas of the Pacific Coast. Berkeley, CA.<br />Stevens, K. H. & A. S. House. 1963. Perturbation of vowel articulations by consonantal context: an acoustical study. JSHR, 6:111–28.<br />Syrdal, A.K. & H.S. Gopal. 1986. A Perceptual Model of Vowel Recognition Based on the Auditory Representation of American English Vowels. JASA, 79: 1086–1100.<br />Thomas, E.R., & T. Kendall, 2007. NORM: The Vowel Normalization and Plotting Suite: An online tool for sociophonetic vowel normalization.<br />Wells, J.C. 1982. Accents of English 1 – an Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.<br />